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About the Author: Gerald Murnane

Murnane's first two books, Tamarisk Row (1974) and A Lifetime on Clouds (1976), seem to be semi-autobiographical accounts of his childhood and adolescence. Both are composed largely of very long but grammatical sentences.

In 1982, he attained his mature style with The Plains, a short novel about a young filmmaker who travels to a fictive country far within Australia, where his failure to make a film is perhaps his most profound achievement. The novel is both a metaphysical parable about appearance and reality, and a parodic examination of traditions and cultural horizons. The novel depicts an abstracted Australia, akin to something out of mythology or fable. The novel was followed by: Landscape With Landscape (1985), Inland (1988), Velvet Waters (1990), and Emerald Blue (1995). A book of essays, Invisible Yet Enduring Lilacs, appeared in 2005, and a new work of fiction, Barley Patch, was released in 2009. All of these books are concerned with the relation between memory, image, and landscape, and frequently with the relation between fiction and non-fiction.

Murnane is mainly known within Australia. A seminar was held on his work at the University of Newcastle in 2001. Murnane does, however, also have a following in other countries, especially Sweden and the United States, where The Plains was published in 1985 and reprinted in 2004 (New Issues Poetry & Prose), and where Dalkey Archive Press has recently issued Barley Patch and will be reprinting Inland in 2012. In 2011, The Plains' was translated into French and published in France by P.O.L, and in 2012 will be published in Hungarian.


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A Memoir of the Turf by

Goodreads rating: 3.85

Paperback, Published in Sep 2015 by Text Publishing

ISBN10: 1925240371 | ISBN13: 9781925240375

Page count: 288

I never met anyone whose interest in racing matched my own. Both on and off the course, so to speak, I’ve enjoyed the company of many a racing acquaintance…I’ve read books, or parts of books, by persons who might have come close to being true racing friends of mine if ever we had met. For most of my long life, however, my enjoyment of racing has been a solitary thing: something I could never wholly explain to anyone else.

As a boy, Gerald Murnane became obsessed with horse racing. He had never ridden a horse, nor seen a race. Yet he was fascinated by photos of horse races in the Sporting Globe, and by the incantation of horses’ names in radio broadcasts of races. Murnane discovered in these races more than he could find in religion or philosophy: they were the gateway to a world of imagination.

Gerald Murnane is like no other writer, and Something for the Pain is like no other Murnane book. In this unique and spellbinding memoir, he tells the story of his life through the lens of horse racing. It is candid, droll and moving—a treat for lovers of literature and of the turf.

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